Skip to main content

The 2013 NBA Finals on Facebook

Champions LeBron James and the Heat are blazing hot on Facebook.

By Alex Walker, Facebook Consumer Content Manager & Robert D’Onofrio, Facebook Data Editor

Miami didn’t just burn it up on the hardwood. LeBron James and his teammates were also a scorcher on Facebook, where adoring Heat fans brought their team the biggest buzz during the 2013 #NBAFinals. People were watching the games and talking to their friends in real time throughout the entire championship series.

With more than 125 million Facebook interactions – posts, comments and likes – heading into Thursday night, rapt engagement was the name of the game for professional basketball’s Big Dance. Fans, players, celebrities and NBA legends all joined the conversation, engaging with friends about their favorite (and least favorite) plays, sharing photos, and connecting on Facebook about memorable moments.

Deputy NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, posted many behind-the-scenes photos – including this one of LeBron James – to Facebook during the NBA Finals. 

Miami’s LeBron James had a hook shot over everyone else on the court, boasting a whopping 70% of all player buzz going into Game 7. James had eight times the number of mentions over San Antonio’s Tony Parker, who was a distant second in Facebook chatter. Teammates Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan came in third and fourth in the rankings, both with about 4% of the buzz. Miami guard, Ray Allen, rounded out the top five.

Mapping Facebook buzz for #NBAFinals: The Heat was blazing 

In fact, Miami was already the most popular NBA team on Facebook leading into the Finals, thanks to LeBron James. James is the most popular NBA player on Facebook, with more than 14 million fans and nearly 400,000 fans in Texas alone. That means he has more fans in the Spurs home state than San Antonio’s five starters, plus teammate Manu Ginobili, combined. 

Miami had more mentions than San Antonio across the U.S. as a whole, dominating states east of the Mississippi and the West Coast, as evidenced by the red and pinkish hues on the map. Taking a look at the dark-and-light grays, the Spurs managed to nail down Texas and a large swath up through the Great Plains. 

As for most-talked-about moments, Facebook buzz spiked when Miami’s Ray Allen hit one of the biggest shots of his career, sinking a huge three-pointer to force Game 6 into overtime. “Heat”, “overtime”, “Ray Allen” and even “shuttlesworth” – a reference to Allen’s acting role in the basketball-themed movie “He Got Game” – all had huge increases when he nailed that shot. The terms “Ray Allen” and “shuttlesworth” spiked more than 200,000% and 300,000%, respectively.

Chatter about San Antonio’s Tony Parker helped beef up the buzz about his team, especially after throwing a buzzer-beating, “circus shot” at the end of Game 1 to seal the win. Mentions of Parker’s name were running low throughout that game, but spiked more than 8,000% after his 18-foot banker clinched it for the Spurs. 

Teammate Manu Ginobili’s 24-point performance in Game 5 was another most-talked-about moment. Fans were already buzzing about his retirement announcement, but when Ginobili came off the bench to hit his highest-scoring game of the season, Facebook chatter about the Argentinian native spiked to more than five times the normal baseline.

David Beckham watched Game 6 in Beijing, and posted this photo to Facebook.

#NBAFinals fandom on Facebook included sports legends, music stars and Hollywood celebrities, who cheered on favorite teams, posting opinions and pictures to Facebook. Soccer star, David Beckham, posted a photo during Game 6, writing, “In Beijing, took a short time out to watch Heat vs. Spurs. What a game, incredible.” NBA Rookie of the Year, Damian Lillard, also chimed in with the status update, “32 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds…And a huuuuge win. But I bet I will see a lot of LeBron hate tonight.” Actor and Texas native, Jamie Foxx, made his allegiance clear with the hashtag, #TexasPride

The NBA brought in some star power for Q&A sessions on its Facebook Page throughout the entire series. ESPN analyst and former Pacers’ player, Jalen Rose, chimed in during the first quarter of Game 2, offering his thoughts on Spurs’ star, Tim Duncan. “Five titles in five appearances would easily cement his legacy as one of the top guys to ever play,” he said in one reply. Current Pacers’ player, Paul George, interacted with Facebook fans during Game 3. On defending LeBron James, George said, “It was tough. He's able to push the ball in transition, post up, and shoot the ball. That size and strength is a tough matchup for anybody.”

Popular posts from this blog

how to share all group facebook one click and very easy

Facebook Starts Letting Teens Post Publicly

Like a cautious parent,Facebook is giving teen users new freedom despite risks. For the first time, users under 18 can post publicly. The logic is that other sites don’t restrict kids, teens are getting more web savvy, and young celebrities want a voice. This could let minors publicly share things they’ll regret, so they must manually opt in to public sharing and confirm they understand the risks. Somewhat disingenuously, Facebook frames its blog post about the change as being about adding more protection for teens. It starts off saying that now when people age 13 to 17 sign up, their posts to the News Feed are defaulted to “friends only” instead of “friends of friends (fof)” as they were before. That is important because many people don’t change their default settings, and if you have thousands of friends with thousands of friends, the fof setting would share your posts to more than a million people. But considering there are 1.15 billion people on Facebook already, and its growth has…

Instagram surges past 700M users, fueled by algorithmic feed

Instagram has gone through a whirlwind of changes the past few months. Between bookmarks, likable comments, live video, tags, zoom, drafts, Stories and of course the controversial algorithmic feed – no one can argue that the Facebook-owned photo sharing app hasn’t been innovating at a rapid pace. But the real question is what effect are these product enhancements having on the bottom line – which in the case of Instagram is measured in user growth. And the answers seems to be that it’s working. The app just announced that they have grown to over 600 million monthly active users. This is almost 10% of the world population – and 100 million more than the company had 6 months ago when they announced a milestone of 500M monthly actives. As a comparison, it took about 9 months to get from 400M to 500M monthly actives – so their growth is still accelerating, even with such a large user base.
While the growth over the past 6 months was still broad-based, the company noted that they were doing p…